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never leave a fallen marine behind. you get them out a live or die trying. and if you didn't die trying it's simple you didn't try hard enough and i was just dealing with my brothers or any other marine would have done for me to read and now i've been honored by the country and the president of the united states and i'm standing before you as a middle of honor recipient. mark recounts the life of his father's assurgent founder of the peace corps and a director of president lyndon johnson office of economic opportunity. this is a little over an hour. ladies and gentlemen, today is a special day at the college of
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the holy cross. not just because of the event at its beginning. it was on this day 169 years ago the college at its formal opening it was to seek the blessing after which the faculty toasted the health of the founder of boston with a good glass of wine. the following class is opened with six students. this evening our numbers are considerably larger and among them in the audience are our congressman jim mcgovern, also marybeth mcmahon, senior vice president of the special olympics massachusetts, virginia swain, returned peace corps coordinator and kathy, peace corps recruiter representing the holy cross. to the special guests and to everyone, a warm welcome.
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we also need to note the absence of the holy cross jr. kenneth jordan the head of the local chapter of the knights of columbus whose brother died in an auto accident two days ago. ken and his fellow knights have put forth this evening's event and she had been anticipating it eagerly. this evening it is a particular pleasure to welcome mark back to his alma maters. he took several courses with me during his student days but our relationship wasn't completely academic. through the generosity of his father, i was able to accompany him in one of his classmates in travels through poland and the soviet union in the summer of 1985, the summer before their senior year. and on the first day in now st. petersburg, mark, always his father's son, asked if we could
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sell their great daily mass during our travels. this, we arranged and for me the happiness and praying daily in the soviet union with the gifted students was one of the brightest parts of our journey. mark went on to write a senior thesis on lyndon johnson's war on poverty. his list of achievements and onerous since graduation is impressive. from 1988 to 1995, marks served as the founder and director of the trace program, an intensive community-based counseling and advocacy program for status offenders, delinquents, abused and neglected youth in maryland the set forth the house of delegates where among other duties she chaired the joint committee on children, youth and families. following an unsuccessful campaign for congress in 2002,
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mark had served as the vice president and managing director of u.s. programs for save the children. he also chairs the national commission on children and disasters, and of course he received an honorary degree from the whole the cross in 2010 and delivered the commencement address. mark, welcome. i am here to say something about the life and achievements of sergeant shriver, mark's death. summarizing his life in a few minutes is about as easy as trying to reduce the recent hurricane to a gentle breeze. his was an amazing life, and all of the work familiar with it will concur with the universally state observation that he was indeed a good man. to read his fossils' biographee is to encounter the life of a modern st. and in his eulogy in
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the funeral sargent shriver really was that good. he was born in 1915. his parents were social catholic justice advocates and his godfather was the cardinal james gibbons of baltimore. he was educated at yale university and law school and immediately entered the navy where he received the purple heart for his service in the pacific theater. the immediacy of his experience has made him a man that was dedicated to making every feasible effort to achieve peace. after he was discharged at the end of the war key worked at newsweek magazine, and in that job came into contact with joseph kennedy sr., who asked him to manage the merchandise in chicago. during the chicago years, he married the daughter eunice in
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1953 and chaired the chicago school board in the catholic interracial council as a supporter of desegregation of the city schools. shriver's prominence in the commercial and social life of the state soon lead to interest on the part of the political leaders to nominate him for governor of illinois. but by then, his brother-in-law, john kennedy, was running for president. shriver served us kennedy's chair for illinois and also head of the campaign civil rights division. in that capacity, leading a campaign, he convinced kennedy to telephone caruthers scott king in the matter of his imprisonment on the trumped up charges. it was a risky move given the residual racism that still tainted american life. but many analysts had concluded that the phone call attracted enough african-american votes to the democratic party that your
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to win a razor-thin victory to john kennedy. after the inauguration, president kennedy asked shriver to assume leadership as the founding director of the peace corps. when asked why he had selected his brother in law for the job, kennedy said that if the project were to become a flop, it would be easier to fire a member of the family when a political ally. when we look at the origins of the peace corps today we have to be careful not to read history backwards or to argue that the success of the peace corps was inevitable. it wasn't so in 1961. deep in the cold war, many thoughtful people were skeptical putting their reputation and presence of the united states in underdeveloped countries into the hands of young people in their 20s president eisenhower called the concept juvenile
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others want only a small pilot program and the state department, one of the state -- wanted the peace corps to be under their control. but sergeant shriver with his boundless optimism and the idealism of young people and older volunteers wanted an independent agency without undue restrictions on size he visited every member of congress to win his approval in the campaign succeeded in september of 1961. within two years, the peace corps had grown beyond belief then came the sad day this year and the memory of all of us of a certain age when john kennedy was assassinated. at the request of jacqueline kennedy, shriver took over planning of the funeral sleeping on the few hours per night as the arrangements were made the dignity, the pageantry, the deep
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religious feelings of those four days in november were the result. one journalist remarked those scenes that end of the world to its television set for four days came more out of shriver's mind than out of anyone else. afterwards, lyndon johnson gave serious consideration to drafting shriver as his running mate in the 1964 election. but the kennedy family so most historians tell us wanted to robert kennedy to assume political leadership, and eventually hubert humphrey to the vice presidency. shortly after the election, johnson asked shriver to head the war on poverty. some of the impetus for prioritizing the issue of poverty came from the of america. the best-selling study of poverty by the holy cross alumni
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michael harrington who found poverty hidden in appellation and in america's inner cities. shriver is accepted the challenge and got to work first of all research and the scope of the problem and its possible solutions. she found 30 million americans then living in poverty, and his agenda for them was and handouts employment through programs like the preschool head program, a dhaka court to retrain adults for in the dhaka the postindustrial economy and vista volunteers in service to america often described as a domestic peace corps. there were programs come stress and community leadership, global planning with federal funds, and there were legal services for the poor. in time, the war on poverty raised up resentment from some public officials who were challenged by the newly uncovered poor.
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meanwhile, slowly but inexorably, the war on vietnam drew the funding away from shriver's operation and offered a choice between war and asia and in poverty. johnson reluctantly took the military option. shriver opposed the reordering of priorities generating the observation in washington and elsewhere, quote, like the poor, we have shriver always with us, end of quote. nevertheless, between 1964 to 1968, one-third of america's poor moved up word out of poverty. by the spring of 1968, tension over the budget priorities lead shriver to give up on what had become an impossible task and to take the ambassadorship to france. when the democrats met that summer in a stormy chicago,
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shriver's name and came up for the vice presidency. in fact, he had an acceptance speech written and reservations on the flight from paris to chicago. but once again the kennedy family still grieving from the recent death of robert raised an objective in favor of ted. so shriver remained in paris until 1970. his success and repairing the alliance with france weekend by a disagreement about the vietnam war had prompted president nixon to retain him in office. not long afterwards came the 1972 election when the democratic nominee george mcgovern was forced to drop his running mate, and eventually through a process of elimination designated sargent shriver as his choice for vice president. the election was a disaster from the governing shriver who only
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one massachusetts and the district of columbia. but perhaps the final word came 18 months leader as the watergate scandal unfolded in the bumper stickers appeared today to read an outline of the stage and within its boundaries of the words we told you so. in 1976, shriver ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in the year when an electorate eager for change opted for jimmy carter. after the presidential run, shriver assumed the presidency of the special olympics, the task of largely engaged him and eunice until the end of the life and was stridor who at the age of 85 confronted the government of china in the organization's interest. and by 2007, the world summer olympic games were held in
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shanghai. shriver also advised the u.s. catholic bishops in drafting a letter on the nuclear war issued in 1983, and he worked to influence the ronald reagan administration to inspect the to expect the no-strike first approach to the nuclear weapons. in 1993, president clinton presented him the presidential medal of freedom. this bareboned account of sargent shriver's life achievement suggests but does not describe the spirit of a man that was a devout catholic and inspired and inspiring father. how can we understand this. and the motivation of such a first kyl and resilient man. striving to understand sargent shriver, i think of the inflated clown toy perhaps two and a half or 3 feet tall favored by
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2-year-olds around the world and at the bottom end of the way there is a bag of sand so that no matter how often you push him down, she springs back upright again. it's fun if you are two but sargent shriver was like that his whole life, no matter how long the circumstances pushed him down. rather in the fight to is to ambush the peace corps or the vice presidential nominations for ten, threatened or the war on poverty derails become the dismal electoral rebuffs in 1972 or the dauntless alzheimer's no matter how many times he got pushed out he came around upright again and he soldiered on ever the optimist and ever the visionary. what was that bag of sand at the bottom of his life that kept him optimistic, committed an undefeated. what was it that made him a
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groundbreaking public leader and a great husband and loving father in every season beef. those are the questions that mark anderson is in his inspiring tribute to his father, so marked, i turn the platform over to you. [applause] >> thank you very much, father kuzniewski, for that incredible the introduction. it reminds me of i guess history when we left father kuzniewski's class and you always learn something although i don't think i ever heard my father referred to as one of those punching clowns, so that is a new one and i wrote that one down. i also want to thank you for referring to his political campaign as dismal and disastrous. it made me feel quite welcome back here at the holy cross 63, father. i want to thank tom -- i was a joke, fathered by appreciate.
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laughter to before i say something about tom, i came into this room i think it was the second or third day of school and i don't know if they still do it here but they were bringing entertainment to reduce all the freshmen to each other and my freshman year the guy came up here and grabbed -- who ended up being my roommate, brought him up, put him in a hypnotic state and he turned into tarzan and he ran into the stands or into the audience and grabbed a girl that i knew, a young lady that i knew for about ten years through and over the shoulder and can appear on the stage. i thought of him throwing him over his shoulder to be tarzan and jane for quite some time. i want to thank you very much for that incredibly comprehensive summary and his life. i want to thank you for inviting me here. as the author eluted to, i come from a competitive irish catholic family and when you get an honor like this to go back
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and speak to the institution like the holy cross, the first thing you do is called your family member to rub it in, and even though i went to holy cross, i called up my brother who is the mayor in san -- to go to the holy cross and this guy invited me over here and he goes he called me and asked me to give that speech and i said what are you talking about? i went to the holy cross. he said i know but i'm the mayor and i worked with bono and we've got these issues. so i hung up on bobby and then i called my sister maria and i said i know she's written five best seller books and she's out in california so i call her up and she says the invited me to give that stock and i said what are you talking about i've written five best-selling books and i went to georgetown, georgetown is better than the holy cross, so i hung up on her. i didn't call anybody else, but i am very happy that i was
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chosen it was an honor to be back at this institution and i want to thank you the congressman mcgovern. that was also a joke. i made that up. [laughter] the congressman and the fact i had the honor of being with that george mcgovern speak of 90th birthday party a number of months ago and where is the congressman governor? with no relationship to george mcgovern spoke very eloquently of senator mcgovern's life and he followed him and he spoke beautifully about what it meant to be an american and what it meant to make a commitment to this company in times of war as he did in world war ii but also in times of peace so i want to thank the congressman for coming. does anyone know where allen ran off to but i want to think hersheys in the way back very humble in the back and i want to thank her. the father mentioned kenseth and i just want to acknowledge the great work that he did to get the word out about my parents. -- appearance.
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my thoughts are with him and his family. i would say just a couple of words about why i wrote this book and then turn it over to the questions because i think that is much more fun. i wrote the book not to describe some of the achievements that father kuzniewski just brilliantly told you about some of the creation of the peace corps, creation of the war against poverty, head start, but services to the court, grandparents, vista, community health centers, and i could go on. but i wanted to find out how a guy could be happily married to the woman of his dreams for 56 years, raise five kids, all of whom love them and go to mass every day of his life, be eulogized by president clinton and vice president biden and mrs. obama was there and oprah, bono, vanessa williams, stevie wonder, but the things that really touched me were the comments of the two waitresses from his favorite restaurant,
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where he ate lunch for 35 years, who waited in line and the night before we bury the data and wait in line for 40 minutes to say your father was a good man. the turnaround and walk out of the church. the guy from the u.s. air national airport who said i took your father through security although he had alzheimer's. he was a good man and those are some of the happiest moments of my career. the guy picks up trash in our neighborhood. he literally a day after dad died parked his trash truck right in front of our driveway and i was in the front yard with his hands on his shirt he stuck his hand out and said i read about your dad, he was a good man. we shook hands and turned around and drove away. hauer is a guy able to do all of that, and to do those things on the national and the international stage do those things that impacted big shocks like presidents and cardinals that often treated people like
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the folks that were going to clean up this room after we leave here tonight just the same and he did it with such joy. so i wrote the book for myself. i wanted to figure out how my wife and i -- she went to the holy cross, how we could balance raising three little kids with trying to make a difference in our communities, trying to have a better relationship with god, try to have relationships with our friends, try to make a difference me even on the international stage. doing it with joy. so i dug in and i wrote the book to read it was a continuation of the eulogy that i gave, and it really focused in on the things i think that made the man who he was coming and it was first and foremost his face. and fothen kuzniewski talked about the fact that he was born into a devout family. with the father didn't mention is that his grandfather, my dad's grandfather, took him to the battle of gettysburg as a 16-year-old kid, and he then
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went into the seminary and dropped out not once but twice because he got sick but he became great friends with james gibbons who had gone to become the second cardinal in america and that's got father and that sustained him through the depression when his family lost what money they had. it sustained him and he had a good scholarship through for high school prep school in connecticut through yale law school and a day after taking the final exam he enrolled in the battle in the south pacific the battle of guadalcanal of the santa cruz where he wrote years later and not ship urging through the ocean praying that and cleaning the deck of the remaining of his shipmates and i think that is faith that sustained him not only in those tough times that in the joyful times and here was our guy that
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was at yale that invited dorothy day to come to yale to speak about the catholic worker and speak about the importance of also working together to help the poor. and that sustained as the father said through trials like the kennedy funeral to plan on will jack's futile. i love that story about his work in chicago where he worked to desegregate the catholic hospitals and the catholic high schools working with the cardinal and became good friends of martin luther king. in that story of him convincing senator kennedy to make that phone call is great because what ended up happening is kennedy campaign had been told that if he stayed positive but nixon, khrushchev working, the governors are going to try their support to nixon. so it was kennedy -- excuse me, it was castro working, khrushchev and king as their
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positive about them and the support was granted to nixon and the idea was to reach out to him to mrs. king to the campaign didn't approve it so he went to the hotel room in chicago and waited for the advisers to meet and the last guide was one of on will jack's closest advisers and he goes into the bathroom and she says what you call and express our sympathy i don't know how to get a hold of her she passan her number if in less than a minute he comes out of the bathroom and he says my daughter you just cost us the campaign. it's over. the closest civil rights division down, the one that dad was running, but within a matter of days, the prominent african-american ministers the protestants in many cases and that endorsed nixon with martin luther king father changed their
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mind and cannot in support of senator kennedy the african-american vote riggins such a percentage people think that they've got him elected president and he said that is a great shrewd political move. but i think it was an act of faith. and it was an act of hope and that is what really defined his life it was his faith that demanded access like that phone call like the creation of the peace corps like the creation with poverty that head start and the legal services imagine for just a second. imagining 1965 and segregated america to put the african americans to pull ahead start programs so that their kids could enter kindergarten ready to learn and that they could then go to universities that had been segregated. that took huge debts as an
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active quote and imagine getting federal money to the lawyers that would represent poor people who couldn't afford them and they'd never been given lawyers in this country. and those lawyers turned around and sued the governors and mayors and even my dad to make systemic changes. that is an act of hope. so you see these acts of hope and love throughout his life and it's all grounded in his faith it included everyone it isn't a fate that put you over one car because you are a democrat or republican or you are gay or straight. was called upon in the book in the speech i felt i never read in which he called upon the rabbi hirsch and his father kelly and the reverend smith to do our father's business to do
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the work in the spirit and to help the poor whether it was in this country to the war against poverty or internationally with republicans and democrats, catholics or non-catholics to do our father's business and 2-cd satloff that best illustrated by his relationship with my mom, the marriage of 56 years. and the sun trying to raise our own and children and maybe it's happened to some of the students here when your parents to let you and i love my kids when they don't do as well on the sports field or athletic competitions and i thought of that and did my father yelled at me as a guide that never did yell because he knew what was important to still love your kid unconditionally whether he won a tennis match or
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a football team won or not. when my brother bobby got arrested for smoking pot in 1970. and you have to remember in 1970 there were just a few television stations around and just a few national newspapers and uncle bobby had died a few months earlier and about six or seven years earlier dad was thinking of running for the governor of maryland and an uncle jack was running for president or vice president. as i reflected on this thumb he talked about this at my dad's funeral, and he said you know we 1970 he was 16-years-old and he was trying to be cool, she knew she really wasn't but a girl in the neighborhood paid no attention to him it was a huge a
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milesian for him come a huge embarrassment. he went down to dad's room and he had to walk on lot hallway and said it was a very long walk down the hallway and she said dad, dad. he turned to him and said sit on the bed and said look, you are a good kid. you have to take accountability for this but don't listen to what anybody else says. i love you. it's going to be fine. you are a good kid. bobby said he felt for the first time in that episode he felt safe. she said that's how he always saw the manly strength. and i think, you know, as someone who was in politics i was thinking of running for the governor of maryland and my kid got arrested for smoking pot at
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16i don't know how i would handle that and i don't know how i would have had the composure to give my kid unconditional love like that and that may not be perceived by a lot of men in particular as manly and i think it is particularly relevant that a lot of men, maybe some of the students in here feel like you have to boss your wife or girlfriend and around and yell at your kids if you've got kids or your little brothers and sisters but here was a guy that realized at a crucial moment in his kid's life the most important thing was not to yell at them, but it was to make sure that child and you that he was loved and he knew that he had to take account of devotee for the response ability for happened but that was important to know for that child to know that he was loved. so i wrote the book really because, you know, as i
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struggled with raising our kids with my wife as i struggled with balancing all these pieces. here is a guy that can teach me how to do all these things through the many letters that he wrote he would write letters and i was in high school he would send letters almost every day i was at a cold across a couple times a day. from the red sox to a book by mother teresa to anything. but she was through the riding of those letters trying to send a message about how to behave as a man and as a human being, and i went back and and i dug through those letters to figure out how to word and i said i could be a better husband, a better friend, have a better relationship with god, have a better relationship at the
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office. i will tell you one last story and then i will turn over to questions. the guy that helped me with the book, greg jordan is from baltimore, and he was a huge orioles fan and he got engaged a couple months before the book, before we finished the book and he said you've been dating for a while what happened he said i felt like your father, the speech in those letters in the speeches he was telling me to make a commitment to love and marriage. and i felt it was pretty cool that a guy that got crushed in these two elections for the national office, that had all sires for the last ten years of his life, a guy that never got elected to any office tall still making friends a year and a half after she was no longer physically year but i think it
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speaks to the power and of continuing to have a relationship even if your mother or father, fred kunkel, whoever it is, is no longer here you can still communicate with them in a different way, and daddy is making friends, and i hope that if you get the book and you read it that you will make a new friend and sargent shriver and that he will make a new friend with you. thank you very much. [applause] >> i just want to mention we are being recorded for c-span, and we have questions and answers but we would just ask anybody that would like to ask a question to come up to the microphone right up front and know that you will be on c-span if you do. >> if you want to single digit on c-span anybody want to come up here and ask any questions? it's your chance at national television, folks.
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yes, sir. >> i was one of the early peace corps volunteers in 1961, and i just want to express my sympathy to you for the loss of your mother and father. we were sitting down and i just want to express how we have time for everybody. i don't know how you had time to write all those letters but he did that throughout his life. we were sitting down in a dorm room in a texas western college with a sergeant and about eight or ten of us young volunteers and was mentioned earlier he said you know there's a lot of skeptics back at washington that think that this thing is going to fail. they are calling it to the kiddie corps. but president kennedy and i have faith in you young men that you
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are going to make it a success and those words may not be verbatim but something like that stuck with me all my life and in those early years it wasn't so hard to get around and visit all or most of the volunteers but he came over there and my life as well. after those trips she would write a post card or a message to every parent for your son or daughter with a few words like that. so he wasn't only a good man, he was a great man. and i am privileged to have met him. >> thank you. i appreciate that. thank you. [applause] >> you know, i will tell you one other story. his sister that worked with him,
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the secretary worked for them for about 35 years, she started right after the '72 campaign, and said that when she first went in the second or third day he came back from recession and said i just met these 50 people and she said okay dictate a letter and we will send out a form letter and he put his hands in his pocket and pulled all the business card and said we are doing everyone personal, and he was relentless on that. he just wrote an unbelievable -- when i was in high school and try to sneak over a little late at night you know, they had to walk by his remand always saw the light on because he would go to bed at ten, 10:30 and get up at 1:00, 2:00 and read for an hour or two, write a couple notes, due back to sleep at three, sleeper entel 3:45 and then off to mass every day. he spent an incredible amount of julieanna energy, and i think
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the fact that he saw every day the gift from god as corny as that sounds interacting with you was as big a deal to him as it was interacting with president kennedy because i think that he saw having been in the war and experienced the depression and really believe in that every person and every interaction was a gift, and i think people get burned out a lot in public service. often times because it is really about them. and i think he didn't get burned out even though he is 95. he was always asking about other people, how you were doing because he was so confident he had a relationship with god, but that god had given him that interaction and that human being. did you both serve in the peace corps? did you meet in the peace corps? did you get married before you went into the peace corps? were you serving in the same
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country? you were? okay good. it's romantic, right? [laughter] and you are still married, right? [laughter] maybe not. i don't know. [laughter] [applause] that's fantastic. that's unbelievable. somebody else come up to the front row. we are on television now. >> yes, i know. it's been a guy and reminded that you're father gave a lecture from that podium in 1982. >> was 84 but that's okay. >> 1984. >> that's a number you don't really care. >> but i'm reminded he came down to the pub for a beer afterwards and i was wondering if you were going to follow in his footsteps. [laughter] cynic as you know since you are a big supporter the pub is closed and the drinking age is different now than it was. we are on national television.
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[laughter] >> and then we went after. >> maybe because you have so much money you would treat everybody to would drink to be a disconnect your father was generous in ways that he or not. [laughter] >> i'm also reminded -- >> is this going anywhere? >> in that lecture he gave to us, his point was as in most of his lectures and his letters and his public speeches, he always ended with something to the effect of all i wish i were you. i wish i were 18 in 1984. he said i wish i was in the peace corps when it started. he always had a way of internalizing and connecting with his audience in a way that his sons would sometimes challenge. [laughter] >> i would like you to speak about that and tell us how your dad -- how he believed he wanted to be with you. i would like you to talk about that. >> i think that he was envious of the opportunity that young people had and he had that same
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feeling today particularly with the power of the internet and the fact that the world is so much more connected than it was then when he was in high school in 1930 were 31, 32 at yale. i think that he was really -- i'm going back to the concept of joy and i think that he thought young people had so much to give as father kuzniewski mentioned, and as we heard just a couple minutes ago the peace corps volunteer can make a profound difference and they were different in the state department and "the wall street journal" said we already -- this is literally what they said, some girl or boy from harvard going to do that a trained diplomat can't do, and the answer is the story in the book that i never knew which is when he wrote about going to the war in indonesia i was afraid to go
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in there, there was a young woman nurse peace corps volunteer and she asked me to go into the war and i was afraid sargent shriver is supposed to be this great guy and he was afraid and he was human. they have to negotiate a deal but she was touching other human beings that were struggling, people that were sick, and when he was 45 or 46i think that she would have loved to have been that nurse in that room touching the people affected by leprosy, and to have that experience and show what the piece is about where human beings are interacting with each other, not
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some peace in the theory of diplomats which is often times elusive. this is real human peace, and interactions of that's why he always said i wish i were you because i have the opportunity to deal with that. he was very happy in his own life, but he was excited and wished that he could have other opportunities. to experience those things and help creating those situations. >> that was a mean question to ask me, but i was a good one. [laughter] >> hello, my name is pat. i saw a documentary, a wonderful documentary a number of years back on your father. the american experience series, and it was just margolis and i have to admit that from that day forward surgeon shriver has been one of my personal heroes, and i
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am frankly very glad that he was a dismal politician because so many of the things that were accomplished because he didn't get to run for political office or so very important, and at the end of the documentary, there was something i don't remember the exact quote, maybe you do, but they were by those with alzheimer's, and he said to the family members please forgive me if at some point i forget who you are but god forgive me if i ever forget where. it was something along those lines and that just was really moving. and then just finally we moved here three years ago from california. we were there when your sister was first lady. we moved here three years ago when my daughter with down's syndrome from seven in california, and the difference that your family's influence
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have made in the families' lives with disabilities here is just remarkable. and so when your mother died, i cried. thank you. saxby three. i appreciate that. [applause] i will tell you a funny story that i brought up in the book about, again, it's going back to this idea of what it means to be a man coming and i think in the 60's if you contextualize it again, women didn't have the positions that they have today, and the women are underpaid or disproportionately the men today. it was much worse back then. when he was doing this stuff there wasn't even a women's professional tennis tour. i think they have a couple of women in the cabinet, so my dad, when he was the ambassador to paris my mom whose sister had a developmental disabilities turn
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to the american embassy in to a training ground for people with developmental disabilities because you just think about it for a second. if you learn today that in the u.s. embassy in france that the ambassador's wife had people with developmental disabilities and those tires and jungle gyms inside of the embassy it is the place where ben franklin was the ambassador and this is the height of the 60's, and you have my mother bringing people with disabilities, the president of france didn't acknowledge it at that point he had a daughter with developmental disabilities, and mom turned that place into a training facility for people with developmental disabilities. and people, you know, he said his wife is crazy why is he putting up with that that's ridiculous. you know, and i think that what he thought is here is a woman, i love her and she wants to do this. her sister didn't have these opportunities. so i'm going to support her, and
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that takes, frankly it takes guts. if you think that as the guy running for president your wife is doing this type of stuff, i think that is an incredible sign of support coming and you got to remember again that in the 50's and 60's people with developmental those of the these four institutions. they were not working, you know, they are not living on their own, they are isolated and so that was a really hope filled radical thing going on but it's like that in a lot of countries around the world. one other thing, sometimes when people say i don't remember the kennedy family, the shriver family, we have to run for office to make a difference. i don't think that's right a woman that certain non-profit that has changed a lot all around the world changed people's perceptions all around the world all from essentially a track meet that started in our house and anaya that never got
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elected that created these entities with political help obviously, you can do these things you don't have to go out and create the peace corps or work to save the children like i do, there are all sorts of ways you can make a difference like the commitment of this school and putting people in jvc and there are other graduates here with opportunities to read it's really amazing. and those little efforts working with one kid that can make a difference not only in that kid's life that family's life and community life and it can be a powerful as creating the peace corps or working at save the children. sean said to me my family's famous for much is given and much is demanded. have you heard that? said the bottom line is st. francis line which i am about to butcher but we've received and that is really the
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power given freely and you can do that by working with a family that maybe has a kid with down's syndrome or developmental disabilities. so many parents tell me the biggest thing is their kids don't get asked anywhere. how many kids do you invite that have facilities to your birthday party? or to go bowling? people don't do that. you never think about it and you want to do with your friends and everybody is having a good time and all that stuff, but you know, my brother started best buddies and it's just to involve people at a friend should level, and the parents, it helps the parents and it helps the kids and frankly it helps the people that are doing better, so much more than maybe a kid with a developmental disabilities. it's a really simple but powerful idea. and he started that when he was a junior at georgetown. those are ideas that people in
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this room that are undergraduates can definitely take and to work on their own and make a big difference. yes, sir. >> it's nice to see that you and sean have a close relationship living together for four years. >> we actually never really liked each other. >> there are two things i would like to ask you one just a quick comment on the chapter about your father's -- when you talk about your dad just paying attention to everyone and the relationship that he had reminded me of the movie if you can spend a second talking of alzheimer's. having your dad -- of beautiful mind, something just scared away and the effect for you as his
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son and on the family, too. so the guy that you are talking about, she started working for my parents a couple weeks before i was born and his nickname was wrags. he drove my mother and father around but essentially ran house and in the summertime and people to the developmental disorders would come to the house and my mother would run the camp that is the precursor of the special olympics they were organized on the part of cooking the lunches and making sure that everybody was in and out, there were peace corps volunteers in the house and the war on poverty and there were cardinals and priests and, you know, rabbis and all that chaos and confusion and political evens and campaign 72 and campaign 76, but there is all of this mass confusion and rags was the guy that kept all of those things moving at the same time. he fought in world war ii. you know, she would pick us up from school when my folks were out of town. every other word out of his mouth was and f-bomb or some
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other naughty word that i will repeat on c-span. [laughter] but she was the real deal. he treated you like a real human being. he got married after she graduated from high school to his wife, she was i think 16 and he was 17. they were married for i think 67 years. he fought in world war ii and i asked if he ever went to college. i didn't go to college. he said i have shrapnel in my ass and general patton that's my education. [laughter] okay. i asked him once did he ever see a saving private ryan and he said no i was there. i don't need to see that again. here is the real deal. he was from prince george county maryland which is just outside of d.c. and my father was from carroll county. one was highly educated and the other one wasn't. they went to mass every day
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probably for 45 years. and they'd taken away his key is because he was driving my dad around and my dad had alzheimer's and was one of the most brutal things i had to go through because i was in charge of my dad's medical issues and kind of helping them to run the house. and alzheimer's worked to be a brutal disease. if you have uncles or aunts or moms and dads that have had it is brutal and we have to find a cure for that. it's devastating families emotionally and financially. there's also these moments i think an alzheimer's that are moments of great insight, or at least they were for me. i told father k and others at lunch or dinner my dad used to always go to his hand and sometimes there was a tissue and sometimes there wasn't. was an idiosyncrasy that happens when you have alzheimer's. and just i remember going into
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mass one day and sitting next to him and, you know, blue his nose into his hand and put it down like a dog if i get that i'm going to get sick and then my kid is going to get sick. six weeks of head colds its way to be a disaster. in about two minutes later he put his hand on my knee and i was like uhhh. most of the time he didn't even have a cold was just nervous thing that happened into his brain. he put himself through high school, college and law school. he was brilliant. and, you know, was doing stuff like that. and she left it there for a couple of minutes, and then he put his head down on my shoulder and i think he knew i had a relationship with him but he didn't know i was his fourth kid and the three kids next to him or his grandchildren and genie was there. he didn't know that. then about a minute later he lifted his head and he looked at me and said i love you. i was like oh, boom.
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all the other stuff, the head cold -- she had no concept that he had run the peace corps, that there was going to be a tomorrow. had been stripped from him by alzheimer's, but what he knew is that concept of love and then you've got to, you know, as corny as it sounds, that's the thing that makes it all worthwhile. and he got stripped to the bear bones. it showed his court and that was the core of love. and it just -- to me it was like an eye opener because you deal with alzheimer's and these little moments and, you know, you don't know what you are going to get a minute by minute. and rags had gotten diagnosed with alzheimer's and died of it and in about two years. my dad had it for ten or 11 years. so everything is different. every case is different. but here was a guy still teaching, two years before he died. it's really important. it wasn't a cold, it was and whether you are a big chief during the peace corps or reaffirm president. it was really about love.
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and that's really what alzheimer's taught me. it's brutal. but it -- for me it picked up that moment. yes, sir. you cannot. are you going to be as mean as sean duffield? are you a freshman? >> yeah, i can't tell people yet. [laughter] you hear and read about a lot of successful men and women and the lives they lead and sometimes i think what about the kids they have. they have to live with these people what they have established and with accomplished, and i'm sure your father had a successful career but when you were growing up was it hard for you to reconcile with your father being so successful was that intimidating more daunting?
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we only talk about creation of the peace corps that interaction about the peace corps volunteer what did we do right and what did we do wrong. how can i be helpful to you need to be sure that we got into politics or that my mother and father were big shots and something that we had to aspire to and we kind of felt it. it's a competitive family that makes fun of it at the beginning. i struggled with that and do i go into the elective office which i do -- i lost. it's depressing and irritating. but ultimately, you know, it took me i guess to write this book figuring out all that stuff really didn't matter. you know, we are all going to die whether we have a big house or second house or whether you drive a bmw and i drive a used car. it doesn't really matter.
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its letter your friends, your wife, your husband, your relationship with god. that's what i got from listening to dad. the rest of it is really bs. you can get during annuity's and your bank account. and they said when it is all over its much more important to have friends in their relationship with god. as corny as that sounds i believe it and i struggle with it because it's america and you know, you've got to be -- you've got to make money. you have to grow and have a big business. you have to have all those things but ultimately it's about are you joyful, are you having a relationship with your principal's with your kids. even if you think you are happy because you're father was a lawyer and you should be a lawyer if you don't really want to be a lawyer, don't be a lawyer because you know what, your kids are going to realize when you are 35 or 40 if your test that you are a lawyer and
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not a veterinarian because that is what he wanted to do, they are going to know. [laughter] they are going to know. and i think ultimately she understood that. that's what gave him jolie and got him fired up until the week before he died when he couldn't communicate he had a relationship with god and with my mother but and he did an excellent job of raising kids. yes, sir you, with the beard. >> seeing what you mentioned that i was deeply affected is that of masculinity and unconventional love, pardon me, unconditional love, and i believe that something that's relevant today if you could just please speak on that a bit more. >> i think, you know, i think it's if asked at a dinner why don't we talk about it now, and i think in american history we have this strand of individualism, we have this sense you can pull yourself up
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by your own bootstraps this is the land of opportunity. you have this sense of community and i think dad believed, i know he believed in the community. would irritate him and some would say i did this all on my own. no one does it on your own. your parents help you, your school helps you, you know, your words that are built by the government, whatever it is we do it together and i really believe that and he believes it and i think ultimately the us principles of faith and the demanded acts of hope and love, you know, it's kind of seen as almost and masculine, you know, to show that you care about your kids and you are not going to yell at them when they screw up. ..
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i realized he didn't. that's pretty hot masculine not to yell at your kids in a deal with it all the time. really it's because they think molly's not scoring three goals and outlook is good, we don't look as good when it's really i should be laughing my kid. if she scores no close and has a
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relationship with the goalie, beautiful. she's got more friends than i do. i'm thinking about going into politics because i can put her out there shall talk to everybody and i'll get elected. she's got countless friends. should i go at her? issue not to burst? malkovich is giving unconditional love and that's a different way of looking at it a thing that most men think it to bus the kids are right around our employees when in reality they just got to support them. but that answer your question? >> i read emma your book. >> host: can you turn to the camera and say that. and see the name when you do it. [laughter] >> i was wondering -- i'm
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joking, joking. >> if your father could read this book, what receiver part bmi? >> and the acknowledgment, when my daughter molly told me she's going to to write a book, she goes is so wonderful. i'm going to write a book about you. if it would be going to college? she goes and okayed at. [laughter] i thought it would be sheeted that one. i think it's a discussion of faith, which a lot of people don't talk about in the public arena. i think one of his favorite quote is the one from st. francis colleges preach the gospel always and if necessary use words. he was like the idea of a discussion of faith,
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inclusively, not that divides, but that pulls us together. defeat that homage maria, and that divides us and that is what he was really about. this pregnancy reagan as honorary chair, that george romney, mitt romney had as the chair of job core. used to bring george foreman the proxy. i have a few i remember george foreman, 63 african-american to have his on-the-job quarter -- orrin hatch, republican senator. orrin hatch and went to george foreman on the other and he loved it because it black and white, democrat, i'm talking about dropping kids out of school so they can get skills. mitt romney's father, george romney was the honorary chair to
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america, which unfortunately governor romney said he's going to hear about. so you wanted to work with republicans and democrats and wanted to do it because it's his faith and he think the concept were talking about faith, but that we talk about it in inclusively that brings us all together and it separates us. so that maybe it. 20 thank you for coming out. i know it's very seen people go out into different things on date. either way, sean duffy is buying drinks. i hope you all enjoy. thank you very much. [applause]
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>> "500 days: secrets and lies in the terror wars" is the name of the book. the author is kurt eichenwald entering this here at the national press club. mr. eichenwald, what are the 500 days to refer to? >> this is a book about the purity of time between 9/11 and the beginning of the iraq war. the reason it's covering that if this is when all the major decisions were made in terms of policy around the world about how the west was going to respond to al qaeda and the 9/11 attacks. >> so when it comes to president bush, vice president cheney, how were they? what did you discover?
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>> pre-9/11 were serious problems. this being the bush administration received a lot of briefings about the coming attack, was told there is going to be mass casualties, but unfortunately members of the pentagon said this is all a big deception being done by bin laden to take everyone i saw posted on his name. after the attack, they got very aggressive in terms of the policies they decided and took on. what you see in this book is about one and two decisions, how fast they were made, sometimes so badly they were made, but also some canonically great decisions. >> kurt eichenwald, use the words secretive nice.
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what did you find click >> some of them had to do, some of them had to do the simple things such as the knowledge they had within the government about the actual connections between al qaeda and saddam hussein. one of the most surprising things to me this thursday defense intelligence agency report, classified report that came out in 2002 that specifically said our intelligence on weapons of mass destruction is terrible. we can't establish any of the things we say to the public. i quote from that document pretty excessively. so that was disturbing and really did seem like it's something at the preconception conifers except you. if something didn't, it was taught aside. people doing the good work are
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the ones who is saying there is nothing there. >> huddy research a book like this? >> you willingly subject yourself to a greater amount of agony. the reporting started in 2006 and here we are in 2012. when i started, i thought i was doing to combat the ears of the bush administration and after many hundreds of hours of interviews i realize i could write 10 volumes and the heart of the story was that not a hundred feet. and i collect as many documents as a kurd. anybody sat down with me will say also to give me everything and i want it now. i take documents even if i don't know what roles they have. and he ended i put everything into a massive timeline. this was 3000 pages.
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that is also an index to the information i have and from that, i'm able to reconstruct the history of what happened. >> did you have to make requesting that the president or former vice president speak with you about this book? >> only thing i'll never do is talk about who did or didn't speak with me. nowhere in the book do i disclose that. i discuss every document, but i don't talk about who speaks. i tend to find the requests aren't a lot of fun. in one of my looks i put in a foia request for search documents, many should cavemen another way in the year after the book came out that something seen those documents don't exist. i tend to find a doing much better job getting them on my own than hoping that the government would be nice to meet them that they have been. plus i tend to find out your
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documents would never know to ask for, things they don't know exist, that make it a winning people's confidence in being able to persuade them of reasons why i should get them. for instance i have the presidential daily briefs from before the 9/11 attacks. only one of those is to impart the way release and none of them will be released under foia except the first one at this point. i have more faith in my ability to get things from the government's ability to give him to me. >> kurt eichenwald come his most recent book, "500 days: secrets and lies in the terror wars."
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